Jonathon Scott Fuqua vividly evokes life in a small Southern town in this powerful story of friendship, race, and learning to trust your own voice — in a world that doesn't always welcome what you have to say. From my back porch, I can see where my best friend lives. Evette's tenant house sits on my daddy's property . . . but on account of her being black and me being white, she hardly ever comes in my house, and I don't go in hers. My daddy says that's just the way it is. Darby Carmichael thinks her best friend is probably the smartest person she knows, even though, as Mama says, Evette's school uses worn-out books and crumbly chalk. Whenever they can, Darby and Evette shoot off into the woods beyond the farm to play at being fancy ladies and schoolteachers. One thing Darby has never dreamed of being — not until Evette suggests it — is a newspaper girl who writes down the truth for all to read. In no time, and with more than a little assistance from Evette, Darby and her column in the Bennettsville Times are famous in town and beyond. But is Marlboro County, South Carolina, circa 1926, ready for the truth its youngest reporter has to tell? The characters in Darby are loosely based on a series of oral history interviews the author conducted in Marlboro County, South Carolina, over a three-year period. "In the end," he says of this novel, "I hope that the book does justice to good people born into troubling times, some of whom, in small ways, helped lay the foundation for change and justice."